Database Administrator


Database administrators administer, test, and implement computer databases, applying knowledge of database management systems. They may also plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases. A database is an organized collection of data. Data is typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality (for example, the availability of labs on the International Space Station). The database is then used in a way that supports processes requiring this information (for example, finding an open lab on the Station).

Path to Career

Database administrators must be able to think logically. Being able to concentrate and pay close attention to detail is important. These computer specialists sometimes work on their own, but they often work in teams. They must be able to communicate with computer personnel, such as programmers and managers. They must also communicate with other staff who may have no computer training. Despite employers’ preference for those with technical degrees, persons with degrees in a variety of majors find computer jobs. One factor affecting the needs of employers is changes in technology. Employers often scramble to find workers who know the latest new technologies. Many people take courses regularly to keep up with the changes in technology. Job seekers can improve their chances by working in internship or co-op programs at their schools. There are many internships where you can learn computer skills that employers are looking for. Certification is a way to show a level of competence. Many employers regard these certifications as the industry standard. One way to acquire enough knowledge to get a database administrator job is to become certified in a specific type of database management. Voluntary certification also is available through various organizations associated with computer specialists. Database administrators may advance into managerial positions. For example, a promotion to chief technology officer might be made on the basis of experience managing data and enforcing security.

Daily Tasks
  • Test programs or databases, correct errors and make necessary modifications
  • Modify existing databases and database management systems or direct programmers and analysts to make changes
  • Plan, coordinate and implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental or unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure
Areas of Expertise
  • Computers and electronics
  • Customer service and administrative services
  • Atmospheres and ionospheres
  • Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus or statistics
Schooling NeededEmployers often seek workers who have a degree in computer science, information science, or a related information technology field. Many community colleges and technical schools offer specific training programs to help meet the needs of local businesses. A growing number of businesses also seek workers with a graduate degree.
Related CareersDatabase Analyst, Database Administration Manager, Database Coordinator, Computer and information systems managers

Mission Control Staff

Lanei Paulson

Role Models

Stacey Morrison